A View from the Other Side: An Evacuated JIC Manager

  Allow us to introduce (and welcome) Sheri Benninghoven, APR, to The Crisis Communicator. Sheri is a Santa Barbara-based principal at SAE Communications and specializes in strategic and crisis communications planning, counsel and implementation for local governments and higher education institutions. In her past life she was a PIO for the city of Anaheim and the League of California […]

A Control Test for Public Information Officers

Calling all Public Information Officer types who feel the never-ending urge to keep our finger on the button overseeing everything and everyone. All the time. Be honest and admit it. Being in control is fun (fun, yeah, I think that’s the right word,) but we should have a little talk … because being a PIO […]

Fact Gathering Specialists – The Nuance of Information Collection

I was recently invited to coach and evaluate the workings of a Joint Information Center (JIC) at a large-scale exercise in a magical Southern land where it’s always sunny, the food is beyond amazing and each sip of Cuban espresso is like the “quickening” scene from the first Highlander movie. Here’s what I observed about […]

The Most Important Position in a Joint Information Center

Conventional response doctrine says that when staffing the Joint Information Center, the most qualified or experienced communicator in a unified response organization should fill the role of Public Information Officer – the 2nd most qualified fills the JIC Manager (or Assistant PIO) role and so on, so forth. But in our experience, the JIC Manager […]

JIC Status Board Specialists: Librarians of Organized Chaos

A Joint Information Center operating at full tilt is a precise and frantic thing: Information flows up through the phone lines in the form of complex questions, community queries and downright pointed accusations. Reports and notifications from the different cells of the Incident Command Post are routed through the Public Information Officer to the JIC […]

Steer Toward Right: After Action Reports and Lessons from the Field

Note: A brief introduction, since this is the first  guest post (of many, we hope) from our friend and colleague Thomas McKenzie. Mac isn’t just a PIO, who spends a LOT of time in the field, but is a member of the U.S. Coast Guard’s elite Public Information Assist Team, which is a component of […]